Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hampi to Tirumala

 First of all I'd like to apologize for our lack of updates lately, we've had patchy internet connection for a while, and have been busy doing other things. We're trying to catch up.
Before coming to Buddha Garden over a month ago, we spent some time in a small touristy town called Hampi, built around the ruins of ancient temples, it is a popular destination for the kind of people who like to take pictures of things, and of course, hippies. For us it was more a stop over than anything, although we did spend four days there relaxing and ambling about. After being in Mumbai the slowing down of the pace was a welcome change. Our favorite part was the river, it was cold and refreshing, we did our laundry there, and cooled ourselves off many times. We got to see the Indian method of washing clothes, which is to smack them against a rock, and we were the only foreigners to join in. 

A particularly  long Sari being rinsed out, the current was fairly strong.

View of the street from a third story restaurant. The food in Hampi was delicious.
Petting a cow by the riverside.
The shade beside the river was a nice place to sit.

The riverside steps also served as a place to bathe, lots of people jumped right in the river.
Hampi was full of monkeys.

After a few nice days in Hampi, we decided to continue south towards Auroville. We decided to stop in Tirupathi, only a few hours by bus away. Right beside Tirupathi is Tirumala, which is a huge temple town on the side of a mountain promising massive crowds of pilgrims and a cool insight into Indian religion. It draws massive crowds of sometimes more than a hundred thousand people per day from all over India, people wait for eight or more hours for a few minutes inside the temple. Ginger took a bunch of pictures on the bus ride, while Luc slept.

Briefly awake, reading.

Once we arrived in Tirupathi we took a very crowded bus from the bus station to our hotel area.

Street view of the very loud, very chaotic corner from our hotel room. 

Elephants during the parade around Tirumala. The chains made me sad, they didn't look like happy elephants.

Small view of a big crowd. 
Being surrounded by that many people in such a sacred area was a fantastic experience. Being pulled into the parade is something Luc will never forget. The man yelling "don't give that man any money!" in reference to the fellow who pulled me in was the icing on the cake, this is India for you.

We have lots of stuff to post about still, more from Buddha Garden and our adventures in India soon. The next step of our journey will be especially scenic as we're headed to Nepal. Set to land in Kathmandu on Tuesday the sixth, just in time for it to get even hotter here in India. We can't take the heat!

We miss you all and are excited to see our friends and families, you better not have forgotten about us because we haven't forgotten you! xxoo

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